Communication Builds Our Community

City Planners Launch "Envision" Effort, Seek Citizen Input For Future Land Use Planning

Series: Lake Wales Envisioned | Story 1

Citizens and residents of the Lake Wales area are being invited to take a major role in defining how and where growth will take place in the area as part of a new city effort to map future land uses and plan for future infrastructure needs.

"Lake Wales Envisioned" is a year-long process that will offer multiple opportunities for Lake Wales residents to add their voices and opinions to the final product, which is expected to guide future development for 10, 25, and 50 year horizons.

Lake Wales Communications Director Eric Marshall describes the Envisioned plan as "much more than land use."

"While Lake Wales Connected is a 'neighborhood' plan" that guides the redesign of that area, Marshall told that the Envisioned plan "is the long-range plan which will include land use design, mobility studies, water supply, conservation plans, and other enhancements to strengthen the city's infrastructure."

The planning area to be considered extends to the entire City of Lake Wales utility service area, which stretches from Lake Pierce to Crooked Lake, and westward to near Lake Buffum, and everyone affected is invited to participate.

"There's going to be other neighborhood plans" guided by the Envisioned plan, Marshall said.

Led by Dover Kohl & Partners, the process will include "stakeholder" meetings, a symposium and reception at Bok Tower Gardens, a "Charette Kickoff Reception" on April 14, and a "hands-on, designing in public" session on April 15.

Plans also include an on-line "designing in public" session for those unable to attend in person, and a "Charette Work-in-Progress Preview."

According to a summary statement from DK&P, "Lake Wales Envisioned will guide growth and conservation throughout the city and its surrounding utility service area for decades to come. Your input in this upcoming planning process is essential! All are encouraged to get involved to shape the future of our great city."

An earlier effort, conducted with a minimal amount of public input, received a hostile reception from residents when it was presented at a meeting last autumn. City commissioners participated in the forum and witnessed a significant amount of criticism directed at the process and results by the more than 100 citizens who attended the event at the Austin Center.

"The presentation at the public forum on October 27 was disorganized," City Manager James Slaton said shortly after the event. "We'll be working with the consulting firm retained for this project to reconstruct our plans." That firm, S&ME, was then replaced by a new contract with Dover Kohl & Partners. DK&P is the Coral Gables-based urban planning firm that led the award-winning and much praised Lake Wales Connected effort.

You may learn more about this important project and upcoming events at or by watching the video above.


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